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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Clinton’s cool kurta vibe

mumbai Updated: Jul 24, 2018 15:58 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Malavika’s Mumbaistan,Malavika Sangghvi

Hillary Clinton.

Could it be that former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has some serious India-withdrawal symptoms? As is known, the once and would-be occupant of the White House had visited the country this March to participate in a summit, before and after which she was spotted dropping in to see designers like Payal Khandwala (whose tunic she’d worn for her key note address at the summit) and Anita Dongre, and by all accounts, had never looked or felt better. Indeed, pictures from that time feature a palpably relaxed and smiling politician, a far cry from her grim, pastel pantsuit avatar which is said to have cost her many votes in her Presidential bid. Obviously, Clinton has not forgotten her tryst with Indian threads. This weekend, she was spotted at the OZY fest, a 2-day music and culture event in New York, wearing an Anita Dongre kurta which she had purchased on her March trip. But, we are happy to note that the cool kurta vibe did not take away the edge from her public pronouncements on the occasion, when she summarily lambasted Trump’s odious immigration policies and his near-disastrous summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Something of an iron fist in a velvet glove, you could say…

THE WORKMANLIKE MAHARANA

Maharana Arvind Singh during a temple ceremony.

Unlike his contemporary Maharajahs, who’d seen their privy purses and prestige diminished by the wave of nationalism and populism that swept the nation following independence, Maharana Arvind Singh of Mewar didn’t take to politics or partying. Instead, he threw himself tirelessly into the business of transforming Udaipur, the seat of his erstwhile kingdom, into a world-class tourist resort, while keeping the mystique of India’s royal past alive in the public imagination. Day in and day out, he met visitors, oversaw the setting up of museums and parks and re-invented his position as a thoroughly modern titular head, in tune with ways of the modern world and its demands, but with respect and attention to his inherited role and its responsibilities.

Maharana Arvind Singh of Mewar.

This single-minded dedication has paid of — and how. Last week, his beloved Udaipur was declared by a New York-based magazine as 3rd among the World’s Best Cities, a fact which, when you consider the competition, is a huge deal! Unsurprisingly, ‘Sriji’ as he likes to be called, was workmanlike in his response. “I’m thankful to the people of this city, the Rajasthan government and the tourism sector for being the perfect host. We welcome everyone in the City Of Lakes with open arms,” he’d said. And then, it was back to work as usual, as this recent photograph proves. “It was a gratifying experience to receive Ashika after Maharudra Anushthan from Shri Rameshwar Mahadeoji Temple, The Promenade, Shambhu Niwas Palace,” he posted.

THE DEFINITION OF A HERO

Jackie Shroff posted a video of him directing traffic in Lucknow.

We could not be more pleased to see how a video of Jackie Shroff trying to decelerate a traffic snarl in Lucknow has gone viral. In an age where celebrityhood has come to be defined by how dark your window shades are and how big your security detail is, the fact that a certifiable film legend could, without any self-consciousness or fear for his personal safety, jump out of a car and offer assistance in a civic crisis, is an act worthy of applause. This is what heroes do, and God knows, we need them now. But then, we expect nothing less from the industry’s most stylish and soulful, self-styled ‘tapori’ boy from SoBo!

SINDHIS TO THE FORE

(LtoR) Late Gita Simoes and her daughter Radhika; Nandita Bhavnani.

“Hi, I don’t know if you remember me, I’m Gita and Frank’s daughter Radhika.” And so began our reintroduction to the daughter of graphic designer extraordinaire, the late Gita Simoes, and writer and advertising guru, the late Frank Simoes, two people who’d had a seminal influence on Mumbai in the ’70s and ’80s. Radhika (now Kapoor) was calling about the launch of Sindhnamah, a large-format illustrated book about the rich, cultural heritage of Sindh and the Sindhi people. Gita, who’d been born in pre-independence Karachi, was a Sindhi and it had been her dream to showcase the treasures of her homeland – its landscapes, wildlife; arts, crafts, textiles and jewelry; its splendid architectural wealth; its music and cuisine; the many faces of its religions; its colorful history and folklore. Teaming up with writer Nandita Bhavnani (The Making of Exile: Sindhi Hindus and the Partition of India’), Gita had been working on the design of the painstakingly researched book until her last. “I’m trying to put the launch together as best I can as it was my mother’s dream,” said Radhika. To be held next week at the Pundole Art Gallery, under aegis of architect, and an old friend of Gita, Brinda Somaya’s Hecare foundation, the launch is sure to see the community’s prominent denizens in attendance. “It celebrates the compassionate spirit of hum- anism that is a significant aspect of Sindhi culture,” says Bhavnani.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 15:47 IST